Differentiation of osteoclasts is defined by the transcription factors expressed in response to bone microenvironments. In this work, we examined the effects of an expressional blockage of Egr-1 and/or WT1 on the differentiation of osteoclasts using specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN). In a culture system forming preosteoclast-like cells (POC) from rat bone marrow cells depleted of marrow stromal cells, POC formation was markedly stimulated by the addition of Egr-1 antisense ODN compared to that in cultures in which sense ODN was added, whereas Egr-1 antisense ODN inhibited the formation of macrophage-like cells. The formation of multinucleated osteoclast-like cells was also stimulated by the addition of Egr-1 antisense ODN in whole bone marrow cultures. In contrast, WT1 antisense ODN did not affect POC formation induced by the treatment with Egr-1 antisense ODN; however, WT1 antisense ODN dramatically suppressed the formation of osteoclast-like multinucleated cells induced by the blockage of Egr-1 expression using Egr-1 antisense ODN. These data suggest that Egr-1 acts as the suppressor, not as the inducer, in osteoclastogenesis. The findings also suggested that WT1 could be involved in the multinucleation step of osteoclastogenesis, at least when Egr-1 expression was blocked.